With tax day fast approaching, U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich (NM-1) today called upon the House Republican Leadership to bring the "Buffett Rule" to the floor for a vote. The proposal, named after the billionaire investor Warren E. Buffett, who has made a point of saying that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, is a tax plan that ensures that Americans making $1 million or more a year pay their federal taxes at least at a 30 percent rate.
"The Buffett Rule goes a long way to make sure everyone gets a fair shot, pays their fair share, and that we all play by the same rules," said Rep. Heinrich.
Today, the average tax rate paid by the very highest-income Americans has fallen to nearly the lowest rate in 50 years. The 400 highest earning Americans in 2008, who each made an average of $271 million, paid an average effective federal tax rate of just 18.1 percent. At the same time, a married couple making $70,000 paid a rate of 25 percent.
"No one likes paying taxes, but it would be a little easier to take if the system wasn't set up to benefit the super rich at the expense of the middle class," said Rep. Heinrich. "The way to stimulate job growth is to make sure the middle class can afford to stop putting off buying that new refrigerator or getting the family car fixed, not by engaging in trickle down tax policies."
The Senate is expected to vote on the "Buffet Rule" on April 16, 2012.